I woke-up Saturday morning excited, “Today is gonna be a great day!” I told myself. It was. It was a wonderful day. Why? Well, read on.
First I went for breakfast with my father who was in from Calgary. That was good.
Then I had a meeting with a number of highschool friends. We got together to start planning the 10 year reunion (yes, it’s already been 10 years!). That was fun.
Afterwards I met my sister and a few other ladies at Ten Spa where we lazed about for hours on end being completely self-indulgent eating chocolate cake, drinking Mimosa’s and hanging out in the steam room. That was divine!!!!! I think I may have found a new weakness since I’m already dreaming about the next time I’ll be able to sneak away from the kids for a quiet day spent at our cities best spa. The next treatment I’ll be getting? The Herbal Mud Body Cocoon…my sister likened it to the feeling of re-entering the womb (which is a guess, since she’s never done that before).
And to end the day on a high note we all went to a Tapas restaurant called Segovia for dinner. I will be revisiting that place in the near future. The memorable dishes that we ordered were Spiced Lamb on top of humus, Elk Tartar, and Carmelized Pork Belly. Mmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking of it.
It was a great day! I wish I could hit a ‘rewind’ button and relive it just a few more times!
Rhys: Mom, can we go to the place where there are leprechan’s?
Me: Ireland??? Why?
Rhys: Because I think I’d like to catch one.
Me: Why do you want to catch a leprechan?
Rhys: Because I want to know where it’s gold is!!!
(at mom’s stay and play this morning)
Other Mother: Is she starting kindergarten next year?
Me: No, the year after.
Other Mother: So you have another year with her at home?
Other Mother: (scrunchie face) Ugh.
Me: Actually, I’m quite looking forward to one more year with her at home.
Really? Really!??! Do people want to get rid of their own kids badly enough that the thought of me staying home with my child induces an “Ugh” response??? Really?
So how does one learn how to follow God during the ‘good’ times? The ‘boring’ times? The straight and only slightly bumpy times? I’m not entirely sure but I was frustrated with feeling distant and dry, longing for some spiritual rejuvination. I always expect to have this big breakthrough or a burning bush telling me exactly what I need to hear. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced either of those. More often than not my heart is stirred and then it’s left up to me to pursue. I also felt like I shouldn’t be operating with a dried-up cup anymore, for a number of reasons:
- James’ new career is a very damanding and stressful one (for him and for our family) and I need to go into this change with a healthy heart & mind.
- I’ve been snapping at the kids more often and it’s getting old real fast.
- I’ve taken on a position on our church council (for Family Ministries) and I had the strong sense that I should probably ‘be fed’ before I start actually filling the role.
So with all of those in the forefront of my mind, I picked-up my bible on that Monday morning. I didn’t feel lead to any specific area so I decided to start reading from Psalm 1. I also picked-up my dusty devotion (A Prayer Journey with the Apostle Paul) and started where I left off. Even though it was great to finally sit down and do something I would be lying if I didn’t say that it was difficult at first. To be honest, I wanted to be infront of my laptop and not my bible. But after a little while it has become more routine…routine that I look forward to. To sit and be still and be fed is what my soul was thirsting for, not the lastest news or e-mails.
I was allowing things to get in my way of reading my bible and spending time in prayer because I didn’t really want to do either. I realized (which is obvious, it just took a little while to sink in) that being a disciple is not just for one difficult year here and there, I need to sit and pray and read even when I’d rather be doing something else. I need to focus on God and give Him my attention even when there are phone calls to make and kids to take care of.
I know it seems like all of this is so obvious but it’s taken a while for me to actually want to acknowledge it. I was desiring all of the things that only time spent being close to God can bring but unwilling to put in the time or work to get them.
Hopefully I’ve learnt a lesson here.
Haiti-Day One (a journal entry)
Well, I just saw my very first cockroach scuttle across the concrete floor of my bedroom from underneath my baggage…I must be far from home. We arrived in Cap Haitien this afternoon. The flight over the ocean in the puddle-jumper was beautiful; smooth and sunny, I was able to catch-up on some much-needed rest. Even as we were landing I started to see a whole different world; cows and dogs walking along the air strip, people hanging around inside the fencing, garbage piled up along the wall. Our baggage was delayed and eventually got to us on a cargo plane. Everyone told us to be flexible. It’s probably one of the words that was mentioned the most in preparing for our trip…’be flexible’. I’m starting to understand why. As soon as were out of the airport (and it’s a stretch to call it that) we walked out of the door into a cage surrounded by people wanting to sell things, children asking for money and water, men hoping to make a buck by carrying your luggage. Chickens scampered around and women carried big bins carefully balanced on their heads. The heat hits hard and the air is thick with humidity and the smell of Haiti.
Our trek through Cap Haitien was even more eye-opening and in looking back, the commotion at the airport seemed calm and orderly compared to the rest of the city. My world couldn’t have been more turned upside-down. I felt as though I saw every one of the one million people living in Cap and they all had something to sell, or buy, or move. The streets were filled with all sorts of commotion; venders lined the sidewalks selling the most random assortment of goods, every other table had piles of sugarcane with women sitting behind it on the worlds smallest chair chopping some more, cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles all had their own rhythm for maneuvering around the city without hitting people, each other or the crater-sized potholes, goats nibbled atop piles of smoldering garbage street-side, gas stations were watched by armed guards, and every once-in-awhile a UN truck or tank plows through traffic. Yes, this is indeed a different world.
After we survived our bumpy hour-long ride we got to our oasis-of-a-house in Haut Limbe. We settled ourselves and then went for a hike up the mountain to see a reservoir that was built to bring water to the entire community. What a view. This place in infinitely more beautiful than what I had thought it would be. I hate to say it, but I was expecting dirt hills with the occasional dried-up shrub. Further down the hill some little kids were singing at the top of their lungs while carrying a pole. The froze as soon as they spotted white folks. All-of-a-sudden they started yelling out “BONSWA” and waiving their hands over their heads to get our attention. All little ways up some boys sang out while running some goats down a path until they spotted us. I definitely feel like a spectacle; Caucasian, female, blonde, blue eyes. Everyone stops what they are doing to look at us. Some shout out “BLANC!”
As we settle-in for the night my mind is racing. What kind of crazy world have I been dropped into?
Today was my day to sleep-in. Ha.
I don’t have a sleep-in day anymore. Rhys has school Monday to Friday and I’m an early morning person who HATES being late, so our day starts early. My alarm goes off at 5:50 so I can hit the snooze button until 6:30 and feel as though I’ve slept-in. On Saturdays we have soccer at 9 in the morning which means that we leave the house at 8:30 (so mama can get a coffee and still be there early) which means that I’m up at 7. Sundays we have church at 10 which means that we’re out of the house by 9:15 (so mama can get a coffee and still be there early) which means that I’m still up at 7.
I’ve never been one to sleep-in. Even if I stay-up until the wee-hours of the morning I’ll still be out of bed by 8:30 or 9. I think that I slept-in until the afternoon once in my life…the day I’d gotten back from Australia.
It’s just always been that way. I remember, when I was little, waking-up with my dad first thing in the morning and having a bowl of Millet/Red River Cereal/Oatmeal and sitting at the kitchen table while he tried to teach me about complex math problems or trading futures. He was an early bird. I am an early bird. I feel like I’ve wasted my day if I sleep-in until 9am.
Today Rhys has a day off of school and I was looking forward to sleeping-in. 8, maybe 8:30 was all I wanted. James was up at 5:30 getting ready for his day, flicking the light on and off every time he came in the room, tromping around the house getting his gear together. I’m a light sleeper.
I managed to drift back to sleep only to wake-up to little voices, clanking toys, and a girl pretending to be a cat at 6:15.
Ugh. This is motherhood.
I got them up. They were excited to see me. I plopped them on the couch and put on Dora (it’s a treat for them to watch a show in the morning). I made some coffee and crawled back into bed to spend some time doing my devotions. I would have liked to sleep-in for once, it would have been nice. But, if I’m honest with you, waking-up before 7am was totally expected. I’m just glad that I love being an early bird.